Preliminary data are presented from the NIMH Collaborative Study on the psychobiology of depression, biological studies, dealing with relationships between the pre-treatment levels of the neurotransmitter metabolites 3-methoxy-4-hydrophenethyleneglycol (MHPG), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and homovanillic acid (HVA) and the subsequent therapeutic response of depressed patients to imipramine or amitriptyline. Eighty-seven depressed patients were studied during pre-treatment and treatment periods. It has been found that (1) both low pre-treatment urinary MHPG and low CSF 5-HIAA values are associated with a response to imipramine; these relationships were not artefacts due to sex or age; (2) there were no significant relationships between pre-treatment urinary MHPG, CSF MHPG, 5-HIAA, or HVA values and the subsequent response, or failure of response, to amitriptyline; (3) there was not a bimodal distribution for CSF 5-HIAA. For both males and females, there were positive and statistically significant correlations between CSF MHPG and urinary MHPG; for the females, there were positive and significant correlations between both urinary and CSF MHPG and CSF 5-HIAA. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.